One of the most common features we come across when working with clinical teams is an imbalance of voices. We are often asked to help redress that imbalance and bring about a more open, inclusive and fluid culture of communication.
Townhalls are really effective at kickstarting this process.
Speaking up and making their voices heard can be a real challenge for some members of a clinical team.
Often, the imbalance stems from where power is located within a group. Power can emanate from experience, seniority, hierarchy, background or personality (or a myriad of other places).
Those with the power are often unaware of their impact on those that don’t. The effect can be that certain people dominate proceedings, whilst others find themselves mute at the fringes.
There is a cost to losing those quieter voices.
Since lockdown began, we have run online support and training sessions for almost 1,000 NHS staff.
Our experience confirms the research; when the established status quo is threatened, teams need to be communicated with differently.
Team members need communication that is not only more frequent, tailored and specific, it also needs to major on anxiety containment and horizon scanning. Team members need to feel more supported and ‘held’ through the uncertainty.
Old school management doesn’t work here; the ‘command and control’ style of communication, with information cascaded down as and when you consider it necessary is a poor fit for today’s world.
Particularly in times of uncertainty, people become acutely aware of what they don’t know, what they can’t see, and what could be lurking in the areas of uncertainty. You have the opportunity to do your team a great service by revealing to them parts of the map that you can see, but they can’t. What might you have knowledge of, that others don’t, that they would really appreciate knowing?
So – how can you do it? A great first port of call is the ‘Transparency Checklist’.
As we navigate the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic, it can feel harder to be compassionate than usual but our desire to do so – and the need for compassion – is probably greater than ever. Understanding of the science and benefits of compassion can help us, based on work from international researchers, see Stephen Trzeciak and Anthony Mazzarelli and Kristin Neff
Here are 6 fundamental considerations when it comes to compassion:
In the world of COVID-19, where there are no quick fixes, managing and responding to uncertainty is a challenge.
Whether you’re working on the frontline in health or social care, leading a team or being re-deployed to work in an environment which is new and unfamiliar, we hope our five “top tips” will help you navigate the "new normal"
Health professionals work under stress and have difficult conversations with patients and families all the time. Now it’s not just families and patients who are frightened and living with uncertainty. We all are. That makes the way we talk to each other more important than ever.
Just because we’re living through a challenging time doesn’t mean the way we communicate has to be challenging or confrontational. Here are some tips to keep talking like human beings when the going gets tough.